AFLC Month in Review: July 2012

We just wrapped up another busy month at the American Freedom Law Center (AFLC), highlighted by two major First Amendment victories. To be sure, religious liberty and freedom of speech are under attack these days more than ever. Nonetheless, we hope that you are encouraged – as we are – by AFLC’s most recent victories, which are detailed below.

Still, the fight is far from over. Indeed, AFLC just picked up three new cases this past month involving religious liberty and freedom of speech, and we are already working tirelessly to prepare for these lengthy legal battles. We must mention again that because AFLC is a nonprofit law firm, we provide all of our legal work at no charge to our clients. Consequently, we rely completely upon the generosity of patriotic Americans like you, and would ask that you prayerfully consider supporting our work with a secure, online, tax-deductible donation here. We sincerely appreciate your support.

Here are the highlights for this month:

  • AFLC won a significant, First Amendment victory in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, which ruled that the Macomb County Road Commission violated our client’s right to freedom of speech and deprived him of the equal protection of the law when it denied his permit request to display a private nativity scene on public property in Warren, Michigan. AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel Robert Muise successfully argued the case before the appellate court on behalf of our client, Mr. John Satawa, a longtime resident of Warren, Michigan. You can read more about this case and AFLC’s victory here.
  • AFLC won another First Amendment victory after a New York federal judge ruled that the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) refusal to run our clients’ pro-Israel/anti-jihad advertisement was unconstitutional. The MTA claimed that the advertisement, which was set to run on the exterior of its buses, violated the MTA’s policy against displaying “images or information that demean an individual or group of individuals on account of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, gender, age, disability or sexual orientation.” The court’s free speech ruling came as a result of a lawsuit filed by AFLC attorneys on behalf of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, Pamela Geller, and Robert Spencer, which challenged the speech restriction and requested that the court strike it down and order the MTA to run the advertisement. You can read more about that case and AFLC’s victory here.
  • AFLC is representing several national security experts who focus on the sharia-driven stealth jihad threat to America. These experts were sued in Ohio by a Jordanian Muslim, who immigrated to the United States in 1978. The lawsuit was brought against the experts because they investigated the Muslim’s background to determine whether he had any ties to terrorist organizations. This is a classic case of “lawfare,” which is employed by sharia-adherent Muslims to silence and intimidate their opposition. You can read more about this case here.
  • AFLC is representing a group of Christian evangelists who were criminally assaulted—in fact, they were literally stoned by Muslims—during the 2012 Arab International Festival held this past June in Dearborn, Michigan. During the assault, deputies from the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office stood by watching, allowing the assault to take place. Ruben Israel, the leader of the Christian group, has retained AFLC’s legal services, and we plan to file a civil rights lawsuit against the Sheriff’s Office for its failure to protect our clients’ constitutional rights. You can watch shocking video of the incident (which has gone viral on YouTube) here. You can read more about this case here.
  • We had the privilege of presenting oral argument in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in a case in which the lower court ruled in our favor and ordered a Detroit-area transportation authority to display our clients’ religious freedom advertisement on its buses. The ad stated, “Fatwa on your head? Is your family or community threatening you? Leaving Islam? Got questions? Get Answers!” You can read more about this case here.
  • Last week, Muise was in Dearborn, Michigan taking the depositions of several Dearborn police officers who were involved in the unlawful arrests of four Christian missionaries at the 2010 Arab Festival. We are representing the Christians, who were peacefully discussing their faith with a small group of Muslims when the officers pulled them aside, placed them in handcuffs, and sent them to jail for the evening for allegedly “breaching the peace.” You can read more about this case here.
  • Earlier this month, Muise was in Tulsa, Oklahoma taking the deposition of Major Julie Harris, the immediate supervisor of Police Captain Paul Fields, who was punished for refusing to attend an Islamic proselytizing event at a local mosque. During the deposition, Maj. Harris admitted under oath that she believed the City retaliated against Captain Fields for exercising his constitutional rights. You can read more about this case here.
  • The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit denied our petition for a full court review of a decision rendered by a three-judge panel which held that a federal taxpayer lacked “standing” to challenge the constitutionality of the federal government’s use of taxpayer funds to support sharia. AFLC is now working to take this important case to the U.S. Supreme Court. You can read more about this case here.
  • And the list goes on . . . .

Legendary Green Bay Packer coach Vince Lombardi once said that winning means that “you’re willing to go longer, work harder, give more than anyone else.” AFLC can assure you that even though we won two important victories just this past month, we will “go longer, work harder, [and] give more than anyone else” because there is still much to do and many battles yet to be fought.

As always, thank you for your prayers and for your support. May God bless you, and may God continue to bless America.